Monthly Archives: October 2010

WHOof Am I?: Life & Times of A Spoilt Doggie 2

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Me at 8 weeks old. Daddy just brought me home for the first time.

 

Sept 10, 2006

It has just come to my attention that I have been talking too much about other people and not introducing myself. I apologise. Having a big heart and talking about everyone else but myself is part of my charm.

I have never always been called Cleopatra. In my birth certificate (or pedigree certificate, if you prefer that), I am known as Allstar Camelia. Yeeaaah, not the most interesting of names to go by. Allstar? God, who the heck comes up with names like that? I could probably still stomach Camelia, but even then, only if you paid me two years’  supply of Greenies or Dentastix.

Mummy and daddy changed my name as soon as they brought me home. I must admit that I was pleased to be renamed — and that of an Egyptian princess to boot! WOOT! Sorry, that’s your language. In mine it’s WOOF!

Back to (the original) Cleopatra, though. What a hotshot she was! She was Caesar’s and Mark Antony’s mistress, like one after the other! She must’ve had lots of fun being the belle of the ball. I’d be lucky if I get to even have a boyfriend, let alone a friend who’s a boy! Mummy’s super anal about me not getting friendly with the boys. Someone please sign me up for a nunnery already!

On a positive note, life could be worse. For instance, I could’ve been born a boy and that would’ve been disgusting. Imagine humping everything within reach! Case in point: I remember meeting a miniature doberman pinscher once. He was a bleeding mad, ridiculously little thing who was infuriatingly noisy and, for reasons known only to him, loved spinning in circles. His name’s Adolf, by the way…it figures.

Anyway, we went to visit Mummy and daddy’s friend that one time. Adolf tried to be charming, but failed miserably. I suppose I should give him points for effort, but I’m not feeling particularly charitable today. Or that day, for that matter. The pedigree in me just refused to come down (it’s a long way down, mind you, seeing as he’s so vertically challenged) to his level. After a few moments, he just gave up trying to be friendly, and decided to get down (up?) to, well, business.

Yes, he tried to hump me. And failed. Miserably. Because he was way too short and, gawd, way too out of my league. It was quite amusing, really. I didn’t have to do much, except stand there  — it’s not like he could reach me anyway. On his hind legs, his little wee-wee could only come as high as the back of my thighs, although I have to say cum come he did not, heh heh. What a loser.

Well, folks, that was as close as I will ever get to being intimate with a boy. It’s ok, I’ve resigned myself to being devoted to Mummy for the rest of my life anyway. There are worse things that could happen.

I realise that I have meandered quite a distance from my original purpose for this post. Sorry, I get it from Mummy. She gets carried away too sometimes. Very short concentration span.. such a child, she is.

So, let me just get down to it:

Pedigree: Miniature Schnauzer (I hate the word ‘breed’. Makes me sound like a mongrel)
Colour: Salt & Pepper
Height: Almost reaching Mummy’s knees
Weight: About three bags of Addiction Porchetta dog food
Date of birth: 2 May 2006 (In doggie years, I could be older than a whole lot of you)
Star Sign: Taurus
Favourite food: Addiction Lamb and Porchetta
Favourite treat: Greenies
Sex: Bitch (For the record, I hate that word, too. Plus I ain’t getting any. Sex, that is. Bummer)

I live with Mummy, so come visit me — I’m never too busy to sign autographs.

WOOF!

Instrument of Your Peace

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— Based on the prayer of St. Francis, performed by the Drakensburg Boys Choir

Lord, Make us instruments of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let your love increase
Lord, make us instruments of your peace,
Walls of pride and prejudice shall cease
When we are your instruments of peace.

Where there is hatred, we will show his love
Where there is injury, we will never judge
Where there is striving, we will speak his peace
To the millions crying for release,
We will be his instruments of peace

Lord, Make us instruments of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let your love increase
Lord, make us instruments of your peace,
Walls of pride and prejudice shall cease
When we are your instruments of peace.

Where there is blindness, we will pray for sight
where there is darkness, we will shine his light
Where there is sadness, we will bear their grief
To the millions crying for relief,
We will be your instruments of peace

Twisted Game of Catch

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Twisted Game of Catch

Sometimes it seems like you are distancing yourself from me.
I know you want to be left alone, but being apart from you hurts

I am giving you an opportunity to go where you should have gone before

You are good to me; gifts and thoughtful gestures are symbolic of your care
An unspoken way of making up for the future’s inevitable parting

Thus

Your kindness chokes, your goodness is hollow
For the end is a vortex and I am being sucked in
There is no end

I say you never sound pleased to hear from me
You claim I am no bundle of joy
Truth: my “joy” is laced with hesitation ~
My senses tell me you are more cheerful when you make the call
More convenient, perhaps?

For you, it is a time of plentiful — is there a deeper meaning to this carnal yarn
I wonder?
Mine is a constant torment
Don’t hope, don’t yearn, I keep telling myself

Your presence fills me with excitement
But I’m tired of playing cool
Of controlling how I feel anymore

It’s a twisted game of catch
You pull and let go; I dance to your rhythm
I try to do the same, but fail
Understandably, you are better at this than me — a fledgling
in this game of ‘love’.

I have
so much to give.
But I am made to feel unworthy
Not good enough
Never good enough

I have loved alone, and in vain
There is no emptier feeling

I cannot hold your hand, don’t know what’s on your mind
“I wanna crawl inside  your head and spend the day there”
~ Bono’s right.
But you withdraw from me sometimes,
You open up a chasm between us
Remedied only by carnality

I cannot call you
Not without hesitation, fear
Oh, that frost in  your voice!

I’ve tried, my dearest.
Every single time,
the excitement is always in vain
— I have called at the wrong time
again

And then I withdraw, afraid you would hear eagerness turn to disappointment
Pretend cheer, mock happiness on top
Knife twisting, wounding, tearing gaping holes below
Tears near surface, threatening to spill
into rivulets of lonely misery

Much easier to be cold and distant
And the hurt won’t be so bad
Not worth it
this twisted game of catch

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I’VE always found it ironic how the most extreme of emotions inspire the poetic side of me. This was written some time back in the midst of personal turmoil.

WANTED: Artworks and (former) Art students

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Attention everybody: there will be an art sale at The Gallery @ Starhill in Starhill Kuala Lumpur in November.

From the sound of it, this appears to be an event that revolves around former art students. For one, the gallery is looking for original artworks from students that cost not more than RM1,000. Art students who have graduated within the last five years are also needed to organise the event. If you happen to fulfill both criteria, here’s your lucky break — you get to organise an art sale, possibly have full control over peddling your own wares AND network, too. Who knows, you might get your lucky break here.

So, if your work falls under the category of “contemporary work across all media, from paintings, print and photographs to sculptures and more”, you can pay a visit to Chin Chin at The Gallery @ Starhill on the Muse Floor of Starhill shopping centre in Kuala Lumpur, or post a reply below with your contact details, and I will pass on the message.

But be quick about it. Time’s running out.

Pat A Cake, Baker’s Man; Bake Me A Cake Fast as You Can

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Sweet Delights

 

“BAKING is really quite simple,” a friend once told me. “You just mix the ingredients, pour it into a pan, pop it into the oven, and hey presto!”

Although I can’t be sure, I think there must be some truth in that… after all, she bakes cakes on the side and works a stressful job in a financial institution. At one point, she was baking cakes after work just about every day and weekend and decorating the pretty little boxes which will eventually contain the goodies.

But I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s gotta be talent. And (a great deal of) interest. I must confess I have none of the former and some of the latter — although it revolves mostly around eating the finished product more than anything else.

Still, I have resolved to learn how to bake properly one day, and not just the usual cup cakes and butter cakes. We’re talking the whole nine yards of icing, sugaring, etc… In short, a work of art; the premium stuff. It’s just that I’m quite put off by the whole idea of having to enroll for a two-year course in a hospitality institution and sit through countless of theory classes just to learn how to make macaroons, panna cotta or even a wedding cake.

 

Macaroons

 

See, I have a short attention span. I can’t just sit and listen for hours and try to imagine. I prefer to get in to the kitchen and do stuff because that’s the best way to learn and remember. Especially when it comes to things that involve the creative process.

So you can imagine my delight when I found out about the Academy of Pastry Arts Malaysia. The institute offers short term baking and pastry art courses, including sugar art and chocolate. These range from two-day specialty programmes conducted by award-winning guest chefs from Asia and Europe, to three- and nine-month courses conducted by Chef Guillaume Lejeune, the school’s resident French chef and director of pastry studies. Most of the learning is done on the job; very little of it is done in the classroom.

And you’re not given unrealistic expectations. The school’s commitment is in grooming the best ready-to-perform pastry professionals entering the hotel industry or related pastry fields. Meaning you’re not an expert the moment you graduate with a certificate, but you will certainly be better trained to immediately start work in the industry if you so choose; you’ll not look at the head chef with a blank look if he asked you to perform a task. And they’re not pretentious — hobbyists are welcome, too.

I paid a visit to the academy last week. It was exciting to see a table laden with all kinds of sweet delights. While I don’t have a sweet tooth, I certainly do enjoy looking at pretty things.

What really got me all excited was a demonstration on making panna cotta — one of my favourite desserts — by Chef Lejeune. It sounds quite simple, really. Heat cream sprinkled with vanilla pods and sugar in a pan. Add gelatin (already dissolved in water, and not too much or the panna cotta will turn out too stiff) and stir until consistency thickens. Turn off the pan and pour mixture into mould. Pop it into the fridge and let it set.

Get creative. Use strawberries.

Or mix two flavours — say vanilla and pistachio. Voila.

There’s plenty to learn. If you work hard at it, you can even set up your own shop! Find out more about the Academy of Pastry Arts Malaysia at http://www.academyofpastryartsmalaysia.com/or check out a video on Eduwebtv right here.